Give Mine Ben-Hur Wheels, Please
0 comment Thursday, September 4, 2014 |
So I've gone and done it today: after months of being stuck indoors and unable to go out and about on my own for fear of falling and breaking my neck, or getting to exhausted I'd have to turn right round and go back home, I've trawled the net looking for wheelchairs - the one pictured is nice, better believe it, but it's not powered, which right now is what I need.
Now there's a common misconception in the UK that items such as mobility stuff is just provided to you via NHS when you ask for them. Things couldn't be further from the truth. There are hardly any wheelchairs out there which are available, and the ones that are seem only for the paralysed and the amputees. People such as myself who suffer with neurological conditions and "look" fine don't qualify. I was able to answer the door to let the wheelchair access person into my house and, therefore, this meant to her I didn't need a chair. That I no longer leave my house any more and tend to spend my days downstairs due to stairs being difficult for me to do didn't enter into it. The wheelchairs aren't there for you on NHS and that's flat.
So, second option - which again people just assume is out there - contact a charity. Well, therein is the problem; there's so many people doing this the charities once again have to be rather choosy. They're not exactly rolling in money either, and therefore they have to give priority to people who maybe already have chairs but need them repaired or upgraded (as NHS seems to refuse to do). They're just plain overwhelmed and unable to help everyone, which means once again, people such as myself who "look fine" are last on the list.
Purchasing your own wheels is usually the only option, but having a look at the powerchairs and scooters which would support my build and do what I need it to do reveals that I could buy a car for less. Powerchairs for the bariatric (what a charming term for 'fatfolk') range in the �3000 and up. Yes, they have to be more sturdily built and require more power, but as is often the case and often how I feel about this, I'm not only being penalised for being disabled, I'm being penalised for allowing myself to get fat on top of it. That's a whole other conversation entirely but I can honestly say I'd give a lot - a whole lot - to have the time, energy, money, and support to attend the gym daily as I used to. I won't even talk about the heartbreak of not being able to use my gym membership, I will cry at my keyboard and it won't be pretty.
The end result is, even though I live in an area which has a completely naff pathway, I have zero idea how I'd even get a chair into my house, up the two steps, and down to the street, I am thoroughly sick, tired, and fed up with being a prisoner in my house. Enough is enough. And so, with the same bloodyminded determination which funded our garden, I'm searching for charities to help me get a powerchair or scooter or something to get me out and about into the world rather than staring at it from a window.
The unfortunate problem with this is there aren't many out there. I've written to the lone two I have managed to find. In addition to this, I'm changing GPs (my current one means well but he's just not managing to get the job done as he's about a decade behind the times) and will first get a feel for which GP is most sympathetic to fibromyalgia.